A Guide To Hiring Virtual Assistants and the Best Ways To Use Them To Increase Your Productivity

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I’ve been able to create a six-figure business from home in just a few years as a “solopreneur,” managing everything on my own…

With the help of virtual assistants (VAs), that is.

20 years ago, this model was basically impossible. Entrepreneurs were still using the traditional business model to build their enterprise, hiring a full staff with benefits, renting out a brick-and-mortar office space, and running their business like most other businesses.

With the advent of the gig economy, allowing entrepreneurs to temporarily hire a small team to handle specific tasks, you really don’t need a traditional business framework with marketing, design, and accounting departments. You can just hire virtual assistants and freelancers for far less money, getting the work done in record time extremely cheaply. 

If you’ve ever considered hiring a VA in any capacity for your work, this guide will help you decide what virtual assistant is right for you, and give you some ideas about how VAs can dramatically boost your productivity.

What Do Virtual Assistants Do? How Much Do They Cost?

Virtual assistants can do…virtually anything for your business.

I’ve hired VAs to handle all sorts of odd jobs, tasks, and projects for me. For example:

  • I paid my VA $50 to research the top 50 podcasts in my sector and collect contact/social media information for me so I could start pitching the podcasts as an interviewee.
  • I paid my VA $80 to handle all the design/graphic work for all my online courses – creating PDFs, designing logos, creating worksheet templates, etc.
  • I paid my VA about $120 to handle all the technical work publishing my eBook – editing my content, formatting my book to Kindle, and uploading everything to Amazon.

Here’s a little screenshot of some of my VA orders the past year:

I use the same VA for several projects, and I’ve hired VAs for one-off projects. 

If you look at the cost (on the right of the screenshot), you’ll see just how cheap these tasks cost you, and they’re completed in a matter of days. 

This is true delegating, and it’s helped me create my dream business working entirely for myself from home. Sure, I could hire a full-time assistant, provide benefits, rent office space, and create an expansive corporate structure to accommodate my employees…

Or I could occasionally pay someone a hundred bucks to take care of specific tasks for me.

Many of my colleagues use VAs in a much more expansive capacity, and there is enormous value in having your VA do most of your work for you. 

For instance, a colleague of mine has paid the same VA about $500/week for the past year now to do about 20 hours of weekly work. $2,000/month for an assistant might sound really expensive to you, but once you place a price on your time, you’ll quickly see just how expensive it is to do everything yourself.

If your VA takes care of the nitty-gritty, the boring stuff, the stuff that takes you away from your most important work, you can grow your business rapidly, increasing your productivity at an incredible rate.

Think of it this way. I charge about $300/hour for an hour of coaching. If I spend three hours fiddling around on Canva or PowerPoint designing slides, I used up around $900 of my time (which is expensive) when I could’ve paid someone $50 or less to handle it far faster than I could.

Your time is really expensive, and you can’t afford to waste it doing menial tasks that take all day when you could hire someone else for cheap to do the work for you.

This is also an important mindset shift, pivoting from “saving money at all costs” to truly investing in yourself and your business.

If you hire a VA, you’re telling the world (and yourself) that your time has a price tag, and you’re not willing to waste any more time. The world’s most successful entrepreneurs are always reinvesting their profits back into their business, delegating as much as possible so they can focus on the real work.

That’s where VAs come in. Once you start effectively using VAs, you’ll quickly see how much time and money you can save for just a bit of money.

How Can I Use Virtual Assistants To Increase My Productivity?

A while back, I blindly accepted a freelance writing job that looked interesting at first, but quickly devolved into two weeks of low-paying, mundane, exhausting work.

I was hired to help write a couple of chapters for a college textbook, which seemed pretty easy for me. For $40/hour, I took on about 20 hours of work.

But I soon realized the job wasn’t really about writing the content, it was about doing a ton of research before I could write anything.

I hate researching. I get exhausted after 15 minutes. It’s draining, and I start to drag my feet, postponing all other work because I’m stuck slogging through hours of tasks I hate. It’s like pulling teeth for me. 

These are the exact tasks you want to hire VAs to handle. If you can hire someone else to take care of the activities you dislike the most, you’ll dramatically increase your productivity, and therefore earning potential. 

True, you’re sending money out of your wallet. But you’re doing it so that you can make five, even ten times more money with the time you gain.

I have a colleague who pays her VA to mine through LinkedIn, finding potential prospects for sales calls. After her VA is done compiling the list, my colleague spends her time doing the real work, the work only she can do – calling the leads and making the sale. 

Someone else I know uses his VA to reach out to potential networking contacts, setting up meetings and phone calls. A colleague uses his VA to handle all customer problems and issues, so he has the maximum amount of time to create and help people, not deal with minor bugs for thousands of customers.

If you want to be a world-class entrepreneur, you need to start delegating a few tasks immediately. There are a few specific tasks you need to start delegating; what are those? How much would it cost to hire a VA to do that?

What could you do with your extra time each week?

Why haven’t you hired outside help yet? It is pride, fear, or just lack of knowledge?

VAs are one of the best investments you can make for your business – and yourself. They take away the worst parts of your business and give you countless hours back to create, make art, and spread your message.

In Conclusion

As Seth Godin explained VA’s in The Icarus Deception:

“If you work on your own…you’ll discover that you have the ability to hire a version of yourself. 

The scary thing about doing this is that you’d have to find something to do, because you can’t do what you used to (you just hired someone to do that). You’d be on the hook not only to find something to do but to do it so well that it more than paid for the person you just hired to do your old job. You’d have to do more art.”

Hiring a VA can be scary. You have to provide them with real work, and you have to manage them in a way where it’s actually worth it to pay them. 

But more importantly, you’ll be forced to determine what you should be working on, and you’ll have much more time to do the important work.

This is an excellent decision for your business, once that forces you to level-up and get clarity on exactly what you need to be doing, and what needs to be delegated.

Start small. Pay your first VA $20 to finish a small project. Feel how great it is to make an investment in your business, and enjoy all the extra free time you receive. Enjoy the lack of stress trying to figure it all out yourself.

When you choose to invest in yourself and your business, your business will grow. Hiring a virtual assistant is one of the easiest, cheapest, and best investments you can ever make for your business.

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